DAN THE FAN: A new air of optimism following County Ground victories (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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DAN THE FAN: A new air of optimism following County Ground victories
2:30pm Thursday 15th August 2013 in Sport
When the season kicked off a couple of weeks ago many fans and pundits were writing off Swindon’s chances of survival, let alone any hope of a top-six finish.
But a new sense of optimism has emerged at the County Ground following a surprising start to the campaign.
On paper, we shouldn’t have won two of our three opening games.
Town are managerless, have lost valuable experience, and the new squad haven’t had more than a month to gel on and off the pitch.
But football logic has been turned on its head, with Saturday’s first-half performance the standout so far.
Yasir Kasim looked unflappable in midfield and, on first impressions, looks like a fantastic piece of business for the club, after joining on a free transfer in the summer.
But once again the star performer was Massimo Luongo. After a decent start to the season Luongo started to show some of his form from last season at the weekend.
It’s essential that we continue this run in August with September looking a much harder month for the club, with every game against a promotion contender.
Milton Keynes, Wolves, and Preston away and Bristol City at the County Ground all face Town next month.
With Swindon taking on Shrewsbury, Gillingham and Crewe in August.
Looking at current form, they are all winnable games, plus going into those tough games sitting in the play-off positions in September would be a massive boost for the club.
Over the past few days all the transfer talk has been about one man, former Newcastle striker Nile Ranger.
Ranger started his career at Crystal Palace, before a move to Southampton, but was released in 2008, and was quickly picked up by the Premier League side Newcastle United.
It’s obvious that on the pitch Ranger has the quality to be a top striker but, unfortunately, during his career he’s made more headlines on the front of newspapers than the back for his well-documented personal problems.
His most recent is being charged with rape last month in Newcastle.
He appears before Newcastle magistrates next week.
Obviously the outcome of that case will play a huge part in the transfer.
If signed he would play a massive part in the club’s fortunes this season.
It’s a big decision for the chairman and manager to make and it all comes down to if they think he can be trusted again.
But, simply, does Swindon Town even want to be associated with Nile Ranger?